Thứ Năm, 13 tháng 7, 2017

JULY 14, 2017 : MEMORIAL OF SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA, VIRGIN

Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin
Lectionary: 387

Israel set out with all that was his.
When he arrived at Beer-sheba,
he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called,
"Jacob! Jacob!"
He answered, "Here I am."
Then he said: "I am God, the God of your father.
Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt,
for there I will make you a great nation.
Not only will I go down to Egypt with you;
I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes." 

So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba,
and the sons of Israel
put their father and their wives and children
on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport.
They took with them their livestock
and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan.
Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt.
His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughtersB
all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt.

Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph,
so that he might meet him in Goshen.
On his arrival in the region of Goshen,
Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot
and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen.
As soon as Joseph saw him, he flung himself on his neck
and wept a long time in his arms.
And Israel said to Joseph, "At last I can die,
now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive."

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
They are not put to shame in an evil time;
in days of famine they have plenty. 
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones. 
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you to all truth
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men, 
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes."


Meditation: Sheep in the midst of wolves - wise and innocent
What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16)? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This Old Testament prophecy certainly refers to the second coming of Christ when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth (Ephesians 1:10 and Revelation 11:15). In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who oppose the Gospel and the coming of God's kingdom.
The readiness to serve and face hardship for Christ and his kingdom
Jesus never hesitated to tell his disciples what they might expect if they chose to follow him. Here Jesus says to his disciples: This is my task for you at its grimmest and worst - do you accept it? This is not the world's way of recruitment for service and toil with promise of honor and reward. After the British defeat at Dunkirk (June 1940), Churchill offered his country blood, toil, sweat, and tears.
This is not the message we prefer to hear when the Lord Jesus commissions us in his service for the advancement of God's kingdom and the battle against Satan's kingdom of darkness and death. Nonetheless, our privilege is to follow in the footsteps of the Lord and Master who willingly laid down his life for us in order to bring us victory over Satan, sin, and death. Are you willing to accept hardship and suffering in serving the Lord Jesus Christ?
"Lord Jesus, help me to patiently and joyfully accept the hardships, adversities, and persecution which come my way in serving you and your kingdom of  love, truth,and goodness. Strengthen my faith and give me courage that I may not shrink back from doing your will."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe Spirit of your heavenly Father speaks through you in every age, by Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD)
"To be sure, we heard in that reading, 'But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious how or what you are to speak... for it is not you who are speaking but the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you.' And he says in another place: 'Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the world' (Matthew 28:20). Does this mean that the people who heard those words of the Lord would be here until the end of the world? The Lord was referring, rather, not only to those about to depart from this life but also to the others, including us and those who would come after us in this life. He saw everyone in his single body, and the words he spoke, 'I am with you even to the end of the world,' were heard by them and by us too. And if we did not hear them then in our knowledge, we heard them in his foreknowledge. Therefore, safe as sheep among the wolves, let us keep the commandments of him who directs us. And let us be 'innocent as doves but cautious as snakes' (Matthew 10:16). Innocent as doves that we may not harm anyone; cautious as snakes that we may be careful of letting anyone harm us." (excerpt from the  Sermon 44a.2)

FRIDAY, JULY 14, MATTHEW 10:16-23
(Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30; Psalm 37)

KEY VERSE: "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves" (v 16).
TO KNOW: Jesus chose twelve apostles for the task of proclaiming God's reign. Now he warned these men that persecution awaited them. His followers would be like innocent sheep among ravenous wolves. While they must be unblemished in their personal conduct, they also must be shrewd in their dealings with those who opposed them. Though the apostles would be arrested and mistreated by both religious and political leaders, they need not be concerned about how they would defend themselves. The Spirit of God would enable them to be faithful witnesses (Greek, martyr). The apostles would face hostility and betrayal even from their own families, but they must not lose confidence. Those who persevered to the end would be saved.
TO LOVE: Holy Apostles, help me to live a life of courage and faithfulness.
TO SERVE:  Do I pray for the persecuted Church throughout the world?​

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Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin 

Kateri was the daughter of a Christian Algonquin woman captured by the Iroquois and married to a non-Christian Mohawk chief. Kateri was orphaned during a smallpox epidemic, which left her with a scarred face and impaired eyesight. She converted to the Christian faith and was baptized in 1676 by a Jesuit missionary. Shunned and abused by relatives for her faith, Kateri escaped through 200 miles of wilderness to the Christian Native American village of Sault-Sainte-Marie, and took a vow of chastity in 1679. Known for her spirituality and austere lifestyle, her grave became a pilgrimage site and place of miracles for Christian Native Americans and French colonists. Her name, Kateri, is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, known informally as the “Lilly of the Mohawks,” was canonized on 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. She is the first Native American to be canonized. She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.


Friday 14 July 2017

St Camillus de Lellis. Day of Penance.
Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30. Psalm 36(37):3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40. Matthew 10:16-23.
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord — Psalm 36(37):3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40.
‘Be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves.’
My old mentor, John, once worked as a consultant to a major Chicago bank. With his white hair and cherubic face, he seemed harmless. Managers and staff welcomed the kindly man and told him everything. It was only when John began a forensic dissection of policies and procedures riddled with injustice and manipulation that their error became clear.
In my work, I found that the best way to document abuses in one of the worst boarding houses in the state was to take in afternoon tea on a regular basis. On returning home, I would write up observations and send them to the licensing authority. Eighteen months later, the place was closed, though my cover had been blown earlier than that.
Jesus, you encouraged us to use our wits in confronting evil. Help us to do so.

ST. KATERI TEKAKWITHA

On July 14, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized. Known as the "Lily of the Mohawks," Kateri lived a life of holiness and virtue, despite obstacles and opposition within her tribe.
Kateri was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin woman and a pagan Mohawk chief. When she was a child, a smallpox epidemic attacked her tribe and both her parents died. She was left with permanent scars on her face and impaired eyesight. Her uncle, who had now become chief of the tribe, adopted her and her aunts began planning her marriage while she was still very young.
When three Jesuit fathers were visiting the tribe in 1667 and staying in the tent of her uncle, they spoke to her of Christ, and though she did not ask to be baptized, she believed in Jesus with an incredible intensity. She also realized that she was called into an intimate union with God as a consecrated virgin.
Kateri had to struggle to maintain her faith amidst the opposition of her tribe who ridiculed her for it and ostracized her for refusing the marriage that had been planned for her. When she was 18, Fr. Jacques de Lamberville returned to the Mohawk village, and she asked to be baptized.
The life of the Mohawk village had become violent and debauchery was commonplace. Realizing that this was proving too dangerous to her life and her call to perpetual virginity, Kateri escaped to the town of Caughnawaga in Quebec, near Montreal, where she grew in holiness and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
Kateri lived out the last years of her short life here, practicing austere penance and constant prayer. She was said to have reached the highest levels of mystical union with God, and many miracles were attributed to her while she was still alive.
She died on April 17, 1680 at the age of 24. Witnesses reported that within minutes of her death, the scars from smallpox completely vanished and her face shone with radiant beauty.
Devotion to Kateri began immediately after her death and her body, enshrined in Caughnawaga, is visited by many pilgrims each year. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.

LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 10,16-23
Lectio Divina: 
 Friday, July 14, 2017
Ordinary Time
 

1) Opening prayer
Father,
through the obedience of Jesus,
your servant and your Son,
you raised a fallen world.
Free us from sin
and bring us the joy that lasts for ever.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 10,16-23
Jesus said to his disciples: “Look, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as snakes and yet innocent as doves. 'Be prepared for people to hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as evidence to them and to the gentiles. But when you are handed over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes, because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
'Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will come forward against their parents and have them put to death. You will be universally hated on account of my name; but anyone who stands firm to the end will be saved.
If they persecute you in one town, take refuge in the next; and if they persecute you in that, take refuge in another. In truth I tell you, you will not have gone the round of the towns of Israel before the Son of man comes.


3) Reflection
• To the community of his disciples, called and gathered together around him and invested with his same authority as collaborators, Jesus entrusts them directives in view of their future mission.
• Matthew 10, 16-19: Danger and trust in God. Jesus introduces this part of his discourse with two metaphors: sheep in the midst of wolves; prudent as serpents, simple as the doves. The first one serves to show the difficult and dangerous context to which the disciples are sent. On the one hand, the dangerous situation is made evident in which the disciples sent on mission will find themselves; on the other the expression “I send you” expresses protection. Also regarding the astuteness of the serpent and the simplicity of the dove Jesus seems to put together two attitudes: trust in God and prolonged and attentive reflection on the way in which we should relate with others.
Jesus, then, following this gives an order that seems, at first sight, filled with mistrust: «beware of men...”, but, in reality, it means to be attentive to possible persecutions, hostility, and denouncement. The expression “will deliver you” does not only refer to the accusation in the tribunal but, above all, it has a theological value: the disciples who is following Jesus can experience the same experience of the Master of “being delivered in the hands of man” (17, 22). The disciples must be strong and resist in order “to give witness”, The fact of being delivered to the tribunal should become a witness for the Jews and for the Pagans, it is the possibility to be able to draw them to the person and the cause of Jesus and, therefore, to the knowledge of the Gospel. This positive implication is important as a result of witnessing: characterized by the credible and fascinating faith.
• Matthew 10, 20: the divine help. So that all this may take place in the mission-witness of the disciples it is essential to have the help that comes from God. That is to say that we should not trust our own security and resources, but the disciples in critical, dangerous and aggressive situations, for their lives found help and solidarity in God. For their mission as disciples is also promised the Spirit of the Father (v.20), he is the one who acts in them when they are committed in their mission of evangelization and of witnessing, the Spirit will speak through them.
• Matthew 10, 21-22: Threat-consolation. Once again the announcement of threat is repeated in the expression “will be delivered”: Brother will betray brother, a father against his son, the sons against the parents. It is a question of a true and great disorder in the social relationships, the breaking up of the family. Persons who are bound by the most intimate family relationships – such as parents, children, brothers and sisters – will fall in the misfortune of mutually hating and eliminating one another. In what sense does such a division of the family have to do with the witness in behalf of Jesus? Such breaking up of the family relationships could be caused by the diverse attitudes that are taken within the family, regarding Jesus. The expression “you will be hated” seems to indicate the theme of the hostile acceptance on the part of the contemporaries and of those he sent. The strong sense of the words of Jesus find a comparison in another part of the New Testament: «Blessed are you if you are insulted for the sake of Christ’s name, because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, rests upon you. No one of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or evil doer or as a spy. But if one suffers as a Christian, do not blush, because of this name, rather give glory to God”. After the threat, follows the promise of consolation (v.3). The greatest consolation for the disciples will be that of “being saved”, of being able to live the experience of the Saviour, that is to say, to participate in his victories.

4) Personal questions
• What do these dispositions of Jesus teach us today for understanding the mission of the Christian?
• Do you know how to trust on divine help when you experience conflicts, persecutions and trials?

5) Concluding Prayer
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
sustain in me a generous spirit.
Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will speak out your praise. (Ps 51,12.15)